Journal of computational chemistry

Implementation of empirical dispersion corrections to density functional theory for periodic systems.

PMID 22684689


A recently developed empirical dispersion correction (Grimme et al., J. Chem. Phys. 2010, 132, 154104) to standard density functional theory (DFT-D3) is implemented in the plane-wave program package VASP. The DFT-D3 implementation is compared with an implementation of the earlier DFT-D2 version (Grimme, J. Comput. Chem. 2004, 25, 1463; Grimme, J. Comput. Chem. 2006, 27, 1787). Summation of empirical pair potential terms is performed over all atom pairs in the reference cell and over atoms in shells of neighboring cells until convergence of the dispersion energy is obtained. For DFT-D3, the definition of coordination numbers has to be modified with respect to the molecular version to ensure convergence. The effect of three-center terms as implemented in the original molecular DFT-D3 version is investigated. The empirical parameters are taken from the original DFT-D3 version where they had been optimized for a reference set of small molecules. As the coordination numbers of atoms in bulk and surfaces are much larger than in the reference compounds, this effect has to be discussed. The results of test calculations for bulk properties of metals, metal oxides, benzene, and graphite indicate that the original parameters are also suitable for solid-state systems. In particular, the interlayer distance in bulk graphite and lattice constants of molecular crystals is considerably improved over standard functionals. With the molecular standard parameters (Grimme et al., J. Chem. Phys. 2010, 132, 154104; Grimme, J. Comput. Chem. 2006, 27, 1787) a slight overbinding is observed for ionic oxides where dispersion should not contribute to the bond. For simple adsorbate systems, such as Xe atoms and benzene on Ag(111), the DFT-D implementations reproduce experimental results with a similar accuracy as more sophisticated approaches based on perturbation theory (Rohlfing and Bredow, Phys. Rev. Lett. 2008, 101, 266106).